First Takes

  1. Trump won’t drop out. I can’t imagine his colossal ego allowing him to entertain the notion;
  2. If he does, the GOP is screwed. The ballots are already printed. It’s too late to even add a write-in in most states;
  3. This will be spun to delegitimize Hillary Clinton, e.g., she only won because of those tapes;
  4. The always remote chance the GOP would learn anything from this election is even more remote, e.g. he only lost because of those tapes. We can double-down on the racism, white nationalism, and xenophobia;
  5. The chances his psychotic followers will do something violent & stupid have increased to a frightening degree.
Published in: on October 8, 2016 at 5:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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  1. No matter how large Hillary’s margin of victory, the MSM will deny it’s a “mandate”
  2. No matter how large Hillary’s margin of victory, Republicans will claim it was due to “voter fraud”
  3. Sometime between Election Day and her Inauguration, congressional Republicans will announce they intend to reflexively and unanimously oppose anything and everything Hillary proposes
  4. Republicans will do something of unprecedented partisan stupidity early on: disrupt the official counting of the electoral vote, try to block all Cabinet appointees, refuse to invite her to Congress for her first SOTU. Something.
  5. This something will be quickly explained by the MSM as “just the way both sides act these days”
  6. Assuming they keep the House, Republicans will announce a new investigation of Hillary’s Benghazi emails to Bill Clinton’s half brother
  7. They will NOT confirm Merrick Garland
  8. Early in her presidency, Republicans will try to force Congressional Democrats to do something craven, like the absolutely cowardly “defunding” of ACORN
  9. On Wednesday, November 9, 2016, it will become the received wisdom of the Republican Party that Donald Trump was a liberal Democrat and lost because he wasn’t conservative enough
  10. No matter how large Hillary’s margin of victory, Republicans will not learn a goddam thing.
Published in: on October 3, 2016 at 8:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Wherein I Respectfully Disagree

I disagree with the notion that Hillary Clinton has no responsibility to answer for Bill Clinton’s policies for two reasons:

1) He’s a former Democratic President who made policy decisions (NAFTA, Welfare Reform, the Crime Bill) that are still affecting the country today. It’s altogether fitting and proper to ask the current nominee of the Democratic Party whether she agrees with those policies, whether they’ve proven to be mistakes over time, and what if anything she would change about them. And;

2) Hillary Clinton was never a traditional First Lady. She was, and was presented to the public as, a trusted policy advisor to Bill. She was in charge of his disastrous healthcare reform effort. Just like any other former Clinton Administration figure, it’s entirely right both to hold her accountable for his policies she agreed with and press her on which of his policies she would change, if any.

Published in: on October 1, 2016 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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Working for a Living

A new study of welfare programs in several countries pretty convincingly debunks the common wisdom that “giveaway programs” make poor people lazy. Nearly all the programs studied were “conditional cash transfers,” meaning you had to do something (like getting your kids vaccinated) to get the money. It supports my long-held theory that policy makers on the Left and Right both make a fatal mistake in assuming that poor people are somehow intrinsically different in thought and motivation than the rest of us.

Published in: on November 20, 2015 at 12:07 pm  Comments (2)  

Excerpt from Ben Carson’s Interview on CNN

Published in: on November 7, 2015 at 8:33 pm  Comments (1)  

It’s the Supreme Court, Dummy!

Excellent article here and a great follow-up to Matt Yglesias’ recent Jeremiad about Democratic complacency at the state level. The fact of the matter is SCOTUS is the third hyper-partisan branch of government and with the other two almost certainly still divided after 2016, the most important. Forget undoing the damage of the Roberts Court; Democrats must retain the White House to prevent what could effectively be the outlawry of the Democratic Party, progressivism, and the tattered remnants of American democracy. It’s that fucking important.

Published in: on October 29, 2015 at 8:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ignorance is Strength

An anti-science ignorant zealot was made Chairman of the House Science Committee and given broad powers of subpoena. Can you guess what happened next?

Published in: on October 27, 2015 at 11:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Doing the Impossible 


Trey Gowdy and his clownshow of a committee actually managed to make Hillary Clinton look sympathetic 

Published in: on October 23, 2015 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Select Committee on Getting Hillary


UNITED STATES - JULY 31: Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., speaks with the media on the East Front of the Capitol after a vote in the House, July 31, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

UNITED STATES – JULY 31: Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., speaks with the media on the East Front of the Capitol after a vote in the House, July 31, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As we wait for Hillary Clinton to testify before the Benghazi! Committee, it’s worth this long read to see just how, precisely, this “investigation” is a gigantic steaming pile of horseshit.

UPDATE: Some more reasons why the Benghazi! Committee is not only bad, it’s potentially harmful long term to the tradition of Congressional oversight

Published in: on October 22, 2015 at 7:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Asshole Caucus



Good and fairly objective article on the secretive House Freedom Caucus. It makes the excellent point that the rift between this faction and “The Establishment” has less to do with ideology than tactics. The HFC is perfectly willing to cause the entire Federal government to grind to a halt, or wreck the economy, just to make a political point. Unlike, say, John Boehner, they either think the majority of Americans will applaud this or (equally  likely) they just don’t care.

Published in: on October 20, 2015 at 8:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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